By Tim Kowols
A Sturgeon Bay man is taking it upon himself to address affordable child care needs in Door County. A 2016 Economic Policy Institute report showed the average annual cost of childcare in Wisconsin for an infant is $11,579 and $9,489 for a four-year-old. Not only do those totals rank Wisconsin as one of the more expensive states in the country for childcare, it is also more than the average cost of housing and in-state tuition at public college. The cost inspired Ryan Zahler to start Door County Children of Hope last month, with the goal of being able to offer high-quality but low-cost child care to poorer families. Zahler says an option like this would hopefully give parents a chance to work outside the home without dedicating the bulk of their check to childcare.
Zahler says fees would be covered by tuition, grants, and fundraisers. Door County Children of Hope will host two meetings this month to lay the groundwork for the organization. You can find that information online with this story.